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Transportation trailblazer makes milestone $1.5M donation to Red River College

March 15, 2019

A transportation pioneer will help Red River College train the next generation of industry achievers, and ensure the viability of Manitoba’s skilled workforce for decades to come.

Jan den Oudsten — founder and former president of New Flyer Industries, and inventor of leading-edge transit technology — along with his wife, Maria den Oudsten, is donating $1.5 million to RRC, one of the largest gifts the College has ever received from individual donors.

Jan and Maria den Oudsten

“I spent much of my life in an industry I am passionate about, and am incredibly humbled to be able to give back and inspire the next generation of learners,” says den Oudsten. “Working and living in Winnipeg was the best time of my life. Winnipeg has the best bus builders in the world, and it is my hope that with this gift that reputation of excellence can continue for many more years.”

RRC is celebrating the transformative gift by officially renaming its Heavy Equipment Transportation Centre. The 60,000-sq.-ft. training and research facility will now be proudly known as the Jan den Oudsten Vehicle Technology & Research Centre (VTRC).

The expansive complex was built in 2008, and was one of the first education centres in Manitoba to receive LEED® Silver certification from the Canada Green Building Council. Every day, close to 170 students at VTRC are trained in transportation technology programs such as Heavy Duty Mechanic, Truck Transport Mechanic (apprenticeship), Trailer Mechanic (apprenticeship), Outdoor Power Equipment (certificate and apprenticeship) and specialized training for General Motors.

VTRC also works with industry partners such as New Flyer to drive applied research in vehicle technology and development, and to support the transportation industry on energy conservation and alternatives (such as electrification), cold-weather testing and technology integration. Read More →

Coast Guard donates surplus helicopter to RRC’s Stevenson Campus

March 7, 2019

Red River College’s aircraft maintenance training got a welcome lift yesterday, thanks to the donation of a surplus Coast Guard helicopter that’ll help support the development of skilled aerospace industry personnel.

Today at RRC’s Stevenson Campus, the federal government presented the College with a Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm BO105 helicopter — one of 10 such assets being donated to training institutions across Canada.

“I am proud that these Coast Guard helicopters will help develop students across the country, allowing them to have practical and hands-on experience,” said Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson, federal Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, in a written release. “These assets have a lot of history and are part of the Coast Guard’s heritage. I am glad that they will benefit generations to come in building high-level maintenance expertise.”

The copters were in service with the Coast Guard for more than 30 years, the first having been purchased in 1985, and the last in 1988. The fleet played an essential role in supporting programs such as icebreaking, marine communication, navigation aids, environmental response, waterway protection, science, conservation and protection.

The helicopter donated to RRC will be used as part of aerospace and aviation training at the Stevenson Campus in Winnipeg, where it joins a fleet of roughly 12 planes and helicopters, most of which were also donated by industry and government partners.

“They are teaching tools, and this hangar is a classroom,” said RRC President Paul Vogt (shown above at right, with MP Doug Eyolfson). “This campus is ground control, and we are steering students with a clear path forward to a rewarding career by providing them with the training, knowledge and skills that this fast-paced and ever-changing industry demands.”

“After 30 years, this incredible piece of equipment may be retired from active service in the Coast Guard fleet, but its next chapter and journey is just beginning here at RRC.”

Culinary instructors to rep RRC at showcase celebrating International Women’s Day

March 5, 2019

A quartet of Red River College instructors will join prominent chefs from across the city for an annual culinary showcase celebrating International Women’s Day this weekend.

Culinary Arts and Professional Baking instructors Chantalle Noschese, Kimberly Cooke, Lylah Erkau and Melissa Hyrb (shown above, from left to right) will represent RRC at this year’s Women, Wine & Food fundraiser for the Women’s Health Clinic (WHC) in Winnipeg.

The event — which takes place Friday night at the Manitoba Museum — was first cooked up by RRC alum Kelly Cattani (Culinary Arts, 2005), now the chef at catering service Bluestone Cottage.

Working with Janet Hamel, Director of Development at WHC, Cattani coordinated both the event and its all-female lineup as a means of benefiting the community-based clinic, which has supported women through health services, education and advocacy since 1981.

Come Friday, participating chefs will serve up a mouth-watering menu of canapes, which will then be paired with wine and beer tastings from local vendors.

Members of the RRC team won’t be the only participants with ties to the College. This year’s lineup of chefs also includes Culinary Arts grads Jackie Hildebrand (Hy’s Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar), Connie Klassen (Pizzeria Gusto), Melissa Makarenko (Resto Gare Bistro & Train Bar), Kristel Pastorin (The Grove), Tara Podaima (Little Sister Coffee Maker) and Chinnie Ramos (Mon Ami Louis).

Culinary students serve up victories at national chefs challenge in Toronto

January 31, 2019

In the immortal words of Guy Fieri, Red River College students Argie Garcia and Anthony Carino took the judges to Flavourtown during the Young Chef’s Challenge in Toronto last weekend.

Garcia (shown above, at right), a Level Two Apprentice Chef, finished in first place at the event, while Carino (at left), a Term 6 Culinary Arts student, finished second.

They were two of six student chefs from across Canada selected to participate in the challenge, hosted annually by the World Association of Chefs and Cooks.

Each chef was given three hours to create a three-course meal that showcased creativity, taste and kitchen organization. They also had to incorporate a set list of ingredients, including chilled salmon (appetizer), beef striploin (principal plate) and dark chocolate and tea (dessert).

“These two talented young chefs had world-renowned judges scrutinizing all of the flavours they built and every move they made in the kitchen, so to have them both come out on top is an incredible feat,” says RRC Chef Instructor Gordon Bailey (shown above, at centre).

As the first-place chef, Garcia will now have the honor of representing Canada at the World Chefs Congress, taking place in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in 2020. Carino’s talents also earned him an offer to join the Canadian Junior Olympic Chef Team in Prince Edward Island.

“Argie and Anthony demonstrated their technical skills and knowledge in the kitchen on the national stage, and they did so with such a high level of poise and professionalism. They represented the College and the province proudly,” says Bailey.

“To watch them grow over the last two years into the chefs they are today has been an incredible experience as a fellow chef, and as an educator. I look forward to seeing where their career paths take them – with this achievement, and as they build their craft in this business in the future.”

Paramedicine, Electrical Engineering grads earn Lt.-Gov.’s Medals for Proficiency

January 29, 2019

Congratulations to the most recent recipients of Red River College’s Lieutenant-Governor’s Medals for Proficiency, who’ll receive their awards as part of our 2019 Winter Convocation ceremonies on Feb. 6 at the Centennial Concert Hall.

Each year, up to four Lt.-Gov.’s Medals are awarded to RRC students who best combine good character, academic and technical achievement, and involvement in College and/or community activities. This year’s winners are:

RRC graduate Grace HartGrace Hart — A graduate of RRC’s Paramedicine — Primary Care Paramedicine program, Grace Hart is a big proponent of paying it forward.

Now 24, Hart grew up in Winnipeg, graduating from Fort Richmond Collegiate in 2012. She spent her childhood living in poverty, finding support through the charitable services of such organizations as Winnipeg Harvest, the Christmas Cheer Board and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Winnipeg.

“I was 12 or 13 and my bed just broke in half, so I was on the floor with an air mattress for about two months. We found out about Hands of Hope and got a bed through them,” Hart says.

“As soon as I got into junior high, I got involved with a philanthropy group and did a lot of volunteering. When I finished high school and started university, I got into Big Brothers Big Sisters of Winnipeg, and because I had a car, I started delivering for the Christmas Cheer Board.”

With a strong desire to help people, Hart entered the Nursing program at the University of Manitoba. However, an extended hospital stay put her on a different path. Read More →

College to host public forum on safety in the Exchange District

December 5, 2018

In partnership with the Exchange District BIZ, Red River College will host a public forum on Safety in the Exchange on Tue., Dec. 11, at 7:00 p.m. in the Roblin Centre (160 Princess St.)

Members of City Council, the Winnipeg Police Service, and the Exchange District community will join to discuss ideas, solutions and opportunities for enhancing safety in Winnipeg’s Exchange District. All are welcome and encouraged to participate.

Red River College continues to be proactive in maintaining a safe and secure environment for staff and students. Recently, the College enhanced its security services at the Exchange District Campus and implemented a mobile street patrol unit that runs every day from 4:00 p.m. to midnight.

The College has also added onsite security and Safe Walk services at the Language Training Centre (in the VIA Rail Station on Main Street) and has extended the hours of security coverage until 11:00 p.m. at the ACE Project Space on McDermot Ave. (In addition to the 24/7 coverage already provided at the Roblin Centre and Paterson GlobalFoods Institute.)

Staff and students are encouraged to access the Safe Walk program, and to download RRC’s Mobile Safety App, which provides quick access to RRC Security and Safe Walk, and sends important campus safety alerts directly to users’ smartphones. The app is available for iOS, Android and Blackberry devices and can be downloaded here.

RRC looks forward to working alongside community leaders to establish even more ways to ensure Winnipeg’s downtown remains a vibrant place to learn, live and work.

Learn more about RRC’s Safe Walk program, and Security Services at the College.

RRC to welcome Bear Clan Patrol founder for presentation on personal safety

November 21, 2018

James Favel, founder and executive director of Bear Clan Patrol Inc., will host a presentation on personal-safety best practices this Fri., Nov. 23, at Red River College’s Exchange District Campus.

The presentation will also explore the role and function of the Bear Clan Patrol, and how students and staff can get involved in their communities. It’ll be hosted by RRC’s Indigenous Education department, and will provide a safe, inclusive environment in which attendees can learn from Favel’s growing — and widely celebrated — volunteer-based organization.

The College is committed to the safety of all its staff and students; engaging community experts like Favel is just one of the ways RRC is working to enhance and maintain personal safety.

The initiative also falls under one of the College’s strategic goals: to strengthen partnerships with Indigenous communities and advance Indigenous achievement.

Operating out the Ndinawe Youth Resource Centre in the city’s North End, the Bear Clan Patrol is comprised of volunteers who work with the community to increase security in the inner city in a non-threatening, non-violent and supportive manner. The Patrol is a community-based solution to crime prevention, one that provides a sense of safety, solidarity and belonging to both its members and the communities they serve.

Favel’s presentation takes place at noon in Room P107 at the Roblin Centre.

Photo credit: Nardella Photography

Celebration of trades and technologies on display at new RRC facility

November 15, 2018

With a little help from its Robot-in-ResidenceBaxter, Red River College joined with the Province of Manitoba yesterday to officially open the new Skilled Trades and Technology Centre (STTC) at the Notre Dame Campus.

Education and Training Minister Kelvin Goertzen led the official ceremonies, and assisted Baxter with his task of opening RRC’s newest addition.

“Careers in the skilled trades are in high demand across the province and this building creates the opportunity for more Manitobans to receive top-level training that will keep our industries ahead of the curve,” said Goertzen.

“We are pleased to have invested $61.6 million to help Red River College develop an inspired learning environment with state-of the-art equipment that takes post-secondary training to new heights.”

Spanning 104,000 square feet, the STTC will boost RRC’s training capacity by 30 per cent, providing training and education for up to 1,000 students a year in high-demand trades, including:

  • Electrical
  • Carpentry
  • Mechanical Engineering Technology
  • Manufacturing Computer Aided Drafting (CAD)
  • Manufacturing Technician
  • Precision Metal Machining
  • Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
  • Technology Management

“For 80 years we’ve created programs and innovative learning spaces that equip our grads with the right skills and experience to meet the needs of our province’s economy and its workforce.

“The STTC is part of the ongoing growth we’ve been experiencing at Red River College – and today, we’re not just celebrating the trades, we’re putting them at the forefront of what we do,” said RRC President Paul Vogt (shown, second from left). Read More →

College to launch first post-secondary course on cannabis in Manitoba

October 15, 2018

Red River College is rolling out a new Cannabis 101 course — the first of its kind to be offered by a post-secondary institution in Manitoba, and one of few available across the prairies.

The new course will be officially announced at this week’s Cannabis Legalization conference, taking place Fri., Oct. 19, at the Roblin Centre, where industry experts, medical professionals, regulators, educators and investors will gather for a series of keynote sessions and discussion panels.

The conference will focus on the province’s budding cannabis industry, growing partnership opportunities with First Nations and the Métis Nation, and ways Red River College can assist with formal education and applied research.

“The federal and provincial governments have encouraged Indigenous partnerships and participation within this industry,” says Rebecca Chartrand, RRC’s Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy. “We were approached by our community leaders to establish safe and regulated educational programming that supports entrepreneurship and growth in the cannabis and hemp industries.”

The conference will take place just days after the legalization of recreational cannabis in Manitoba, while the new course is slated to launch on Nov. 6. Both have been in development for months through a working group established between RRC’s School of Indigenous Education, Indigenous community leaders, and the province’s Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority.

The introductory course will explore the business behind cannabis — looking at everything from safety and regulations, to public policy and education, to the training and skills required to pursue a career in the industry.

It’ll focus on five key modules: legislation, regulations, licensing and bylaws; the anatomy and physiology of cannabis plants; cannabis production; the distribution and sale of cannabis; and responsible use of cannabis.

A family affair: RRC confirms ‘IT’ couple as Distinguished Graduate Award recipients

October 5, 2018

Red River College is proud to announce the latest recipients of its Distinguished Graduate Award: husband and wife Stu and Heather Charles, both graduates of RRC’s Computer Analyst/Programmer program, now known as Business Information Technology (BIT). 

The pair will be honoured by the College and their peers at the upcoming BIT 50thAnniversary Gala, a celebration of a half-century of information technology training at RRC taking place Sat., Nov. 3, at the Club Regent Event Centre.

“We are very proud to honour Stu and Heather, two successful and very deserving recipients who now join the ranks of such notable graduates as national news anchor Dawna Friesen, entrepreneur and philanthropist Bob Tallman, and WWE superstar Chris Jericho,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.

“Throughout the College’s 80-year history, fewer than 40 graduates have been nominated for this prestigious award. After walking through these doors, each has gone on to do great things — giving back to their communities, and celebrating the education that helped them get to where they are today. Stu and Heather are no exception.”

Stu and Heather met at RRC back in 1977, when both were enrolled in the CAP program. They shared an immediate interest in the then-burgeoning field of computer programming and communicating with computers.

“Red River College is where it all started for us,” says Heather. “It was a place that gave us our first opportunity to enter into a new and emerging field and meet 75 like-minded people who were interested in learning more about computers.

“From meeting each other in school, to supporting each other’s careers and aspirations, to receiving this award, we’ve lived and breathed this experience together and it’s really shaped us into who we are today. I believe it’s one of many reasons that we both continue to support the College.” Read More →